Liverpool 3-0 Villarreal (3-1 on aggregate)

Liverpool are through to their first European final in nine years following a comfortable Europa League semi-final second leg over ten-man side Villarreal on Thursday night.

Jurgen Klopp's side were rarely under pressure on an intense night at Anfield, which began with an emotional tribute to the families of the 96 fans who died in the Hillsborough tragedy 27 years ago.

Villarreal brought a one-goal lead with them following last week's 1-0 home win at the Madrigal, meaning they would only have to score once in England to leave Liverpool needing to score three to progress.

But the Yellow Sumbarine lost their heads in the red-hot cauldron and the Reds cruised into the decider, where they will face Sevilla on May 18 in Basel.

The Spanish side are not the first side to succumb to the almost magical powers of the famous old ground and they will probably not be the last.

A banner on the Kop simply reads 'European Elite', and while this competition may not be where a club of Liverpool's history are used to playing, it offers a path back to the big time.

As well as a trophy, a place in the Champions League next season awaits the winner later this month.

Manager Jurgen Klopp, whose influence on this run to the final cannot be under-estimated, had warned fans not to expect a repeat of the Dortmund quarter-final performance.

But whereas in that game they had finished with a rampaging final 20 minutes, Liverpool were out of the blocks quickly this time.

Mario Gaspar and Jonathan dos Santos had two early chances, with goalkeeper Simon Mignolet saving smartly from the former, but after that it was a red tide crashing against a yellow wall.

The hosts made the breakthrough with their first serious attack seven minutes in.

Nathaniel Clyne's cross from the right caused consternation in the visitors' defence, Roberto Firmino's return produced panic and - under pressure from Sturridge - midfielder Bruno diverted the ball into his own net.

With Dejan Lovren (above) putting in a commanding performance at the back, Milner covered virtually every blade of grass in midfield alongside Emre Can.

Can cruised through 90-plus minutes belying the three weeks he had been sidelined with ankle ligament damage while Firmino and Lallana (above) linked play to Sturridge to ensure domination was almost total.

Liverpool could not press home their advantage initially, and only a weak connection from Cedric Bakambu on the stroke of half-time prevented Mignolet from being extended more than he was.

Villarreal sensed they had weathered the storm as they came out for the second half, but aside from one Soldado header over it was the hosts who generated the chances.

Coutinho and Milner both tested Areola, as did Sturridge, and after having one angled shot palmed away, he was much more clinical when Firmino popped the ball through a crowd of legs, cleverly staying onside to poke a shot through Areola's legs just past the hour.

Villarreal's task was made more difficult when Victor Ruiz, booked for dissent in the first half, was sent off for a second yellow card after standing on Lallana.

Moreno's push on Suarez inside the penalty area could have ended Liverpool's dreams in one moment of madness. To their relief, no spot-kick was awarded.

And a trip to Switzerland was secured nine minutes from time when Firmino, brilliant throughout, found space on the left to cross for Sturridge and although he failed to connect properly Lallana swivelled to turn the ball home.